Political memorabilia is more than just a nostalgic trip to the past. It is a documentation of where we have been and how we have gotten to where we are. It is a way for us to develop a better understanding of who we are. It also can help us see where we are going.
The Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics began collecting Indiana political memorabilia of all kinds in 2002. The first display was on the second floor of IPFW’s Walter E. Helmke Library and included political buttons, scrapbooks, programs, state convention badges, an editorial cartoon from the first half of the Twentieth Century, and a copy of the Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution signed by Senator Birch Bayh. The collection has continued to grow and now includes campaign materials as well as documents such as mayoral transition plan notes, polls, and consultant reports.
Through collaborative effort, this digital collection has been created in Helmke Library’s mastodon DIGITAL OBJECT NETWORK (mDON) providing online access to several political memorabilia items. Non-digitized items are available for viewing by contacting the Mike Downs Center.
Many of the items showcased here are owned by the Mike Downs Center. Others are digital images of items owned by supporters of the Mike Downs Center who have generously allowed the image to be presented to the public.
The Mike Downs Center has made an effort to include accurate information about each item in the collection, but we recognize that errors might have occurred. Please contact us if you find an error or if you have additional information about an item.
If you would like to make a contribution to the political memorabilia collection of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics, please contact us.